Despite struggles, fishermen donate surplus catch to QC community pantry | Inquirer News
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Despite struggles, fishermen donate surplus catch to QC community pantry

By: - Social Media Specialist / @DenverINQ
/ 05:19 PM April 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Despite struggling to survive in the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, several Filipino fishermen have banded together to donate their surplus catch to a community pantry along C.P. Garcia Avenue in Quezon City on Sunday (Apr. 18).

Fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya Pilipinas said its members from Binangonan, Rizal decided to donate more than 50 kilograms of freshly caught tilapia from Laguna de Bay after seeing the widening initiative of ordinary Filipinos to help one another.

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While fishermen are also trying to make ends meet amid tough times, their urgent need for government aid and assistance does not stop them from helping those who are also in need.

“Bagama’t kailangan ding kumita, hindi bigat, kundi pakikipagkaisa sa kapwa naghihirap ang nangibabaw sa isipan ng mga mangingisdang nagbahagi ng kanilang huli sa mga community pantry,” Pamalakaya said.

(While our fishermen also need to earn a living, it is not heaviness but solidarity with fellow struggling Filipinos that resonated with our fishermen who gave a portion of their catch to the community pantries.)

Fisherfolk has been heavily hit by the ongoing pandemic, which has so far claimed almost 16,000 lives in the Philippines. According to Pamalakaya, strict quarantine measures have heavily affected the fishermen’s livelihood.

“Nalimitahan ang pagbabiyahe ng mga produkto ng mga mangingisda sa mga fish port at bagsakan sa tuwing suspendido ang transportasyon. Higit sa lahat, hindi sapat at hindi lahat ng mga mangingisda ang nabibigyan ng ayuda ng pamahalaan,” the advocacy group said.

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(Transportation of products to fish ports becomes limited every time transportation is suspended. Most of all, not all fishermen receive aid from the government; the aid is also not enough.)

Community pantries have sprung up all over the country after drawing inspiration from Ana Patricia Non, who started the Maginhawa Community Pantry last Wednesday. In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Non said it was the “agitating” national situation that pushed her to begin the project.

READ: ‘Tayo-tayo na lang’: QC resident sets up community pantry amid worsening pandemic 

Various sectors have heavily criticized the administration’s efforts to counter the pandemic, which President Rodrigo Duterte previously referred to as “a small thing in our lives.” A previous survey by a Singaporean research institution found that among Southeast Asian nations, Filipinos are the most disapproving of their government’s pandemic response.

The emergence of community pantries has been regarded by many as a reflection of hunger and struggle all across the country. Sociologist Athena Charanne Presto said a shared pantry is a form of collective response by the people when institutions fall short in providing aid during a crisis.

READ: Community pantry: ‘Not charity, but mutual aid’

Malacañang, however, continues to defend itself from constant criticism. When #DutertePalpak topped online trends last March, Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that the administration was doing an “excellent job” in combating the pandemic.

Pamalakaya called on the government to give sufficient aid to struggling sectors and legislate House Bill no. 9192, which seeks to distribute financial subsidy and production support worth P15,000 to fishermen in the country.

/MUF

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TAGS: COVID-19, fisherfolk, Maginhawa Community Pantry, pandemic
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